A recent partnership between ISANS and Dalhousie School of Occupational Therapy created a great learning opportunity. 13 new residents to Canada who are enrolled in Communication for Healthcare Professionals were interviewed by Dalhousie occupational therapy students who were honing their assessment skills, and learning about some of the social and environmental barriers to transferring healthcare skills to Canada from abroad.
Both groups of students say they enjoyed the experience and learned a great deal from each other. One of the new residents said “I didn’t really know very much about occupational therapy. The students did a good job telling us about it.” As one mentioned, “The best thing about my experience was being able to talk to someone about the person I was in the beginning when I first came to Canada and the person I am now after adapting to living here.” Another participant said, “the most important thing about these interviews is communication skills. I think this is a great opportunity and experience for all of us.”
The occupational therapy students said it was interesting to learn from them, and to receive feedback from them, especially knowing they are health professionals. “It was good to have the experience of really interviewing someone, and to learn about all they have to go through,” said one. “Yes, and they were so interested in what we do.” The experience is intended to help to prepare students for their fieldwork, which will start early in the new year.
This win-win situation created “partners for learning” and we look forward to repeating the experience in the future.